Holiday Wine Cellar

Not Rated.
Holiday Wine CellarHoliday Wine Cellar
BA SCORE
99
world-class

118 Ratings
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

302 W Mission Ave
Escondido, California, 92025-1712
United States
phone: (760) 745-1200

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @hwc1965

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Place added by: jcalabre

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Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 96
Reviews by charlzm:
Photo of charlzm
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Visited on Sunday, 05/18/08.

Let me add to the chorus of voices praising this establishment. They have an exhaustive, complete collection of beers form pretty much any place that is available in SoCal. This includes what seems to be a full line-up of Nogne and Sprecher, among others. British ales, plentiful Belgians, more California brews than you can shake a stick at: this is definitely one of the best beer shops I have ever seen.

Kudos on the walk-in cooler, the "secret scotch" room in the back, lots of sodas and a well-stocked humidor.

Friendly service, prices not out of the realms of affordability... yeah, this one's da bomb.

More User Reviews:
Photo of KATCanada
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

First of all Vanessa is AWESOME. As I sometimes do I called ahead to find out about Pliney and other RR stuff and was able to do a phone order for pickup. Was looking for Temptation but they did not have when I called. I ordered a bunch of goodies and was pleasantly surprised to get a call a week later from Vanessa telling me they had a bottle of Temptation for me if I wanted it! Hell yeah! This place is not for from Stone and is a must visit if in the area. great selection of everything you would want if coming in from out of town.

Photo of suburbanfarmer
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

If you're looking to pick up some bottles of stuff that's hard to find, this is the place to go. Helpful staff, ridiculous collection, prices are fair (not as cheap as some, but those others don't have the breadth).

Photo of mabermud
4.4/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

I graduated HS and grew up in Escondido, and whenever I come back to visit my family I always make a couple of stops here during my vacation. If you do not feel like stopping by one of the many breweries in the North County, you could always stop by Holiday Wine Cellar to find and pick up some unique beer offerings. For me, this is the best bottle shop in the North County of San Diego. Wen I stopped in last week during my last trip, I was able to buy Lost Abbey Track 8, Older Viscosity, Peche Mortel, Hopparillo, Swami's, and Belching Beaver Old Dirty Barrel. They even had Mogli, which I can never find in Northwest Washington. This place has a great selection of craft beer, plus it also sells wine, liquor, and cigars. The employees were helpful and mostly nice, one guy seemed like he was having a bad day, but he was still helpful. The only change I would recommend is, brighten the place up a little. Well...it is supposed to be a cellar...

Photo of DCLAguy11
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

What a fantastic store. I came out with almost 2 cases of a variety of delicious brews and the customer service was excellent. I received help and recommendations from two associates. Sadly I had to leave some items behind but it was a gem of a beer/wine/spirits store. Don't forget to check out their walk in cooler behind the beer coolers. They also have a rewards program where you can get some discounts later.

Photo of orangesol
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

First stop a few days ago was to check out this bottle shop close by to Stone. Medium sized beer area in the back left of the store, wine on the right, liquor filling in the front and middle and even a large cigar area on the far right of the store. I didn't even notice the back beer cooler or wine cellar until I wandered back there right before leaving. Atmosphere was pretty good, typical bottle shop feel really. Quality was pretty high all around. Nice furnishings and displays to go along with the beer glasses and beers. Service was pretty good, I was asked if I needed any help once but I was just browsing. Selection was solid all around. A few rarities sprinkled with with plenty of the typical local west coast offerings. Even more can be found in the cooler in the back so make sure you look back there as well. Prices were on par with the others in the area. Overall a really nice bottle shop, I would probably stop in again if I was going to Stone.

Photo of HoppingAlong
4.49/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This is a good bottle shop in North County, San Diego. In fact, it is not too far from Stone Brewery. They have a good, solid selection of beers. Their selection is set up by style and country, with some beers stored in the cooler in the middle of the shop. The staff is super helpful and will answer any questions you may have. They also have a good online presence, so feel free to check them out there (although some of the stuff doesn't seem too up to date).

And while all of this is fine and dandy, one of the best (if not perplexing) thing about Holiday Wine Cellar is that they often have Groupons available for $20 for $40 or $40 for $80-- which is simply awesome and rather amazing. I tend to use the Groupons to stock up on seasonal IPAs or what not; however, it is great to use them for more expensive sours or other beers that you would normally pass on because of the price. In addition to the beer, they have a huge selection of booze and a ton of wines-- if you into that sort of thing.

Overall-- I urge you to check out Holiday Wine Cellar-- and check out Groupon before you head over.

Photo of claspada
4.71/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Wow what a store, I was perusing the cooler and someone came over and said, let me show you the cooler, I was confused until he lead me INTO the cooler where I got the whole view of everything they have, which is everything you could possibly want from the area. Pliny was just chillin' on the floor in a box which made me laugh. Everything is well cataloged and organized by country/location and there is plenty of everything. BA Eclipses, various sour beers, if it's in CA, they probably have it.

Photo of Grant35
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is a gem. Their beer selection consists of all of the latest releases and then some. As soon as I walked in someone asked if I was looking for something in particular. I was just curious to see their vast selection of local beers as well as a huge variety of international brews. After about 5 mins, I was approached by Rick who told me that their walk in cooler had a lot more beers, he wasn't joking. After I spent another 15 minutes freezing my nuts off in the walk in (bring a parka if you want to browse), Rick came in and made some suggestions and mentioned that they did beer tastings every Saturday in the downstairs cellar. Downstairs cellar?? As I made my way down the spiral staircase, I found two more rooms. One contained a more valuable selection of fine wines and champaign the other was a quaint little tasting room where they were pouring a number of the Shmaltz He'brew beers. After about 45 mins of chitchatting with some out-of-towners talking about various Barleywines, the gentlemen who was pouring mentioned that they had a few bottles of 'Mother of all Storms' left (I snagged 2). All in all I was thoroughly impressed with their selection, knowledge, and layout.

After returning a number of times, becoming more and more friendly with the staff, I was informed that they rent out storage lockers for beer and wine enthusiasts. I toured the locker cellar with Rick which was unreal. Every time I go to the Holiday Wine Cellar I find more and more impressive aspects that separate them from their competition.

If you need a special beer for a gift or for a tasting, just go in, let them know, and they'll take care of you!

Photo of dvmin98
4.89/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great little place on Mission Road. I have ordered from them through the internet, so when I was in town, I had to stop by. I've talked to Vanessa many times over the past 6 months or so

A: Nice open area with beer and liquor. Head around the back and that's where it gets good. The walk-in cooler is like heaven. Great selection of quality stuff from around the world. I was salivating. Downstairs, we went to a beer tasting. There is a small room with a bar and a TV. The guy that runs Ironfire was showing off 5 or 6 of his bottles down there (good stuff btw). There was also the wine cellar.

Q: Great selection of beer and liquor. Not sure what they had wine-wise, but that's not my thing.

S: Can't get any nicer than Vanessa. She showed us around and then had us go to the beer tasting. She's the best.

Sel: great selection of beers from all over the world. Lots of San Diego and Riverside county beers to choose from as well.

V: They are a tiny bit higher than other places, but you can overlook that due to what they offer.


Update: Unfortunately, my go to person, Vanessa, no longer works there. She was just the sweetest person ever. FORTUNATELY, both Diane and Nick are there, and they picked up where Vanessa left off. Super friendly people that put up with my constant emails about buying stuff online/over the phone.

BE SURE TO FOLLOW THEIR TWEETS...they post all their new items on there.

They are, and will be, my go to place to get Socal distro'd brews.

Photo of FosterJM
4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Was at a workshop in SD for work and the freeway was a bit open so took a few minute detour.

Atm- From the outside it looks like a old surf shop with a A frame, tiki thing. Reminded me of Aloha in Reno. Small parking right off a corner location.

Quality- Lots of high end stuff in here. A lot of bottles that I had never seen. Didnt have the time nor the $$ to check BA for every bottle.

Service- Wandered a bit before someone asked if I needed anything. Was advised of the walk in and the underground wine lair.

Selection- A lot of great beer in the store. Tons of CA locals, Lots of hard to find euros. Most everything is in the cooler with only a few left out on the floor.

Food- N/A

Value- Everything seemed to be about $1-2 high from some stores that have similar products. Was happy to find the Karl Strauss I was looking for so didnt mind a bit of a price raise.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

I visited Holiday Wine Cellar this past weekend since I was in the area. The building itself is pretty interesting looking from the outside. There is a nice old school type of vibe going on inside. They have rows of wine, liquor, and coolers of beer towards the back. There is also a refrigerated beer cellar at the back of the store as well as a staircase that I think led down to an underground wine cellar. The service was pretty good as an employee approached me once while I was looking around. Most all of their beer is refrigerated but there were some warm bottles sitting out on the floor. The selection was exceptional with lots of awesome beer from around the world. They had a bunch of stuff I had never seen before which I obviously bought up. Prices are a bit on the high side but I didn’t mind paying the premium for such an awesome selection. Overall, this is a fantastic beer store and I would highly recommend stopping by here to check things out if you are in the general area.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I bought beer from Holiday Wine Cellar through their online shop.

First off, I saw 3 Oud Beersel beers on their website, the Kriek, Geuze, and the Framboise at what I thought were reasonable prices.

I put in an order and received a confirmation email and reply almost immediately. The next thing I knew, the beers arrived and I enjoyed the heck out of them.

Good prices for both the beers and shipping combined with excellent communication made my experience with Holiday Wine Cellar great. I recommend them highly!

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Highly recommended bottle shop. Stopped by on our vacation in Escondido. First time they were closed for inventory, d'oh! The next day they were open, woohoo! Walked in and was immediately greeted, I explained I was from out of state looking for some beer to take home. The lady walked me to the cooler where the beer guy was. Both were extremely helpful. I had never been to a true bottle shop before, pretty cool. I told the guy the same story and he literally went row by row asking if we had such and such beer and his thoughts on them. I ended up leaving with some phenomenal brews. When checking out I found out the clerk grew up a few blocks away from our house in Parker, small world. In any event the prices were reasonable and the service was great. Highly recommended.

Photo of corby112
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by here before going to Stone during a recent trip to San Diego.

This is a very nice liquor store that mostly focuses on wine but also has a nice selection of quality craft beer. In the rear of the store there are about six coolers filled with common singles and local bombers. Nothing to get excited over but at least the options of singles is there.

The real selection can be found in a large walk in cooler toward the back of the store. Inside there have a very large and impressive assortment of craft beers from around the world. They carry a lot more imports than most stores I visited in So Cal with tons of German, Danish, italian and Belgian offerings. In addition, they had a lot of great locals and harder to find beers that I didn't see anywhere else. Plenty of great local/So Cal stuff along with beers from Russian River, Stillwater, Drie Fonteinen, Eclipse Variations and vintage pannepøt to name a few.

The beer guy was really cool and it turns out he has family from outside of Philly. He was very knowledgeable and friendly, talking with me extensively about beer. All of the other employees that I interacted with were pleasant and helpful.

This was a great bottle shop that I highly recommend. If I lived in the area I would spend all of my money here.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I've visited this place a few times now and I always leave pretty impressed. The staff is incredibly friendly and seems to be very knowledgeable about their products. I've also been able to find some beers and breweries there that I've had a lot of trouble finding in other places, Midnight Sun being the biggest one. Nearly all the beers are refrigerated and they have a pretty awesome walk-in cooler that has some pretty solid beers in there. If you happen to be in the area, it's definitely worth checking out. One of the best places in North County.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is a great place to hit if you're making the trip out to Stone. Easy parking and not far off the highway.

Medium size store with cases of new brews at the front door so you can't miss them, and a cooler out back with doors for sixers and bombers. The cooler is also a walk-in and practically all the beer is kept in the cooler. A heavy amount of imports as well as locals and domestics, and it's no problem to find your hands full of chilled goodies in no time.
A very cool spiral staircase goes down to a lower level, which I would guess has more wine (didn't venture).
They also had stacks of a spiced stout made for them by Ballast Point, so high marks for having an exclusive on that beer!
No help was offered or requested which is fine by me, but they do get my approval for simply giving me a box for my beers, which some places actually will not do.
Great store.

Photo of allyourbeers
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Friendly place. Cool wine cellar and tasting room down the spiral staircase.

Damn good beer selection and helpful staff. Not familiar with a beer? This guy was more than willing to help out by offering tasting notes on each of the beers in the cooler. Impressed. Not an easy task.

This place is most easily compared to Hi-Time Wine Cellar, which is the best beer store of upper Southern California (Orange County). While I'm sure Holiday is nearly, if not the best beer store in the San Diego area. They, just like Hi-Time, keep most of their beer in a walk in fridge. There's not only many breweries represented here from all over the world, but also very complete collections of those breweries. For instance you can find more Cantillon here than most places. They also have a huge lineup of Jolly Pumpkin. They also have, of course, a great selection of San Diego beers you can't find a couple hours north of SD (ie Oggi's in bottles, Coronado brewing, and certain releases from the main breweries of SD).

Will visit again, and again, and again!

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited this joint with Alucard4 and DarthKostrizer after Stone 15th Anniversary.

The place IMO is in a weird spot totally foreign to me. You'd almost never end up here unless you knew where you were going. The building is quite an old building with cool character. You walk in and all the wine is on the right with a very high end selection. All the liquor is on the left with very high end choices as well like Louis XIV. In the back is the old school, but cool wide door cooler with sloped/rolling bottle racks. On the backside of that cooler is the walk-in cooler that has a ton more beer.

The beer selection is above average but not outstanding due to the fact that they surprisingly did not have alot of CA and local brewery stuff I was looking for. They really have the capacity to, and I wish they would devote a section to local breweries like: Alpine, Green Flash, Alesmith, Iron Fist, Port, Stone, Ballast Point etc. In the walk in cooler they had an excellent selection of Belgian beer and other rare euro beers. In the reach in they had a good selection of rare foreign beer as well like some from Japan and Germany that we picked up.

This place is a must stop if in the area and we'll stop here after every Stone Anniversary I'm sure. This place would be amazing with a few improvements in selection and I look forward to next time.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

I visit this place every year after the Stone Anniversary party and every year I believe the selection has gone down hill just a bit but it is still exceptional. I would have like to have seen more local breweries here than I did for instance there were no Alpine beers. Make sure that if you visit this place that you actually go into the walk in cooler because they have a bigger selection back there then what you actually see up front and I would say they might have a couple hundred different beers in stock. The service here is always just "hey guys can I help you find anything" and then they ring you up and thats about it honestly so I think there is room for improvement there but I am just being picky. Final thoughts if you are ever in Escondido and are look for a good bottle shop I highly recommend this place.

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

About time I give them a review. I stop in whenever I am in the area or passing through. Love the atmosphere of this place, and the new walk in cooler is a great addition. The employees have always been willing to help and look up information on specific beers and inform you of what they know will be coming in soon. The selection is one of the better ones in San Diego, with some NW beers as well as all the locals you would expect. The prices on some beers tend to be a little high maybe a dollar more then I have seen other places. Overall its a great store that I will continue to visit.

Photo of madpentzer
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I really enjoyed this bottle shop. Good environment when shopping and in the hot summer weather it was nice and cool inside. Great selection of both cold IPA's and rare stuff on the shelves. The staff that was in during my visit didn't seem to know much about beer, but I didn't mind. Walked out with a bottle of Bommen and Granaten and some other rare stuff and was quite pleased with the whole experience. Overall, I would say this is a great bottle shop and I would recommend it to anyone either living in or visiting San Diego.

Photo of Siggy125
4.26/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Very classy old school type liquor store. Has been there for many years. Easy access off the 15 & 78 freeways. This is a routine stop for me when traveling to SD.

Great beer selection with many west coast brews as well as beers from other regions and countries. Several shelves, take your time to see it all. Be sure to go back in the cold storage for additional bottles. Also, if you want something you dont see, ask for it. They have a stash in the back. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Not all are well versed on beer. Give 'em a look if in Escondido. You wont be disappointed.

Photo of tjkinate
4.14/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I lived in Escondido for WAY to long before finding this place. Located in what seems to be an old family restaurant just adds to this place's charm. Upstairs, half of the store is dedicated to beer and the other to wine. This was the store that really assisted me in becoming obsessed with beer, having purchased many of my first premium bottles from here.

If you have a deep pocketbook and also enjoy the wine variety, take a venture down the spiral stairs to the stores cellar. Bottles easily go into the few hundred dollar range. Basically, I walked and witnessed, my wallet is a little light for those beverages.

Go check them out, support your local business, the beer selection won't leave you disappointed!

Photo of DoubleJ
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I was on a mission for a collegue, and my mission was to spot some of Alpine's IPA's. Well, sometimes life doesn't work the way you want....

All you need to do as you walk through the automated door to unleash your smile with all the beverages that sit around you. Primarily that beverage is wine, though there is plenty of beer to be found. A display of Belgian and Dutch beers, such as DeRanke, La Trappe, and Caracole, sit towards one end at room temp. Everything else that I ran into was refrigerated, including additonal Belgian and Dutch beers. The bottle labels are a little difficult to make out at first because you find out that the bottles are sitting on their sides, not standing up as one might expect.

I was already excited about the selection, then a friendly store employee approached me and asked if I needed help finding something. "Yeah, where's the Alpine?" I follow her to a different part of the store and viola, I was walking inside the beer cooler. In here, additional beer lay. Lots of Shelton Bros imports (Epic Ales, Amager, Dieu du Ciel!), 3 Fonteinen, Oud Beersel, and yes, Alpine. "Do you have any Nelson?" I was informed that Nelson and its sibling IPA's have been difficult to keep in stock because they have become so popular. Too bad.

That still didn't dampen my spirit though. The beers were well organized and with pricetags, the service was very good, and the selection was more than outstanding. That's all reason enough to stop by Holiday Wine Cellar.

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Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA
99 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.